The 7 Best Classic JRPGs Anyone Can Now Play On Mobile

Experience what others have loved for years

If you love role-playing games (RPG),
especially digital ones, then there has never been a better time to be a fan.
Mobile gamers in particular have a huge variety of RPGs to choose from. Who
would have thought you could one day boot up Baldur’s Gate or Knights of the
Old Republic on a smartphone?

It’s not just classic Western RPGs that are
getting strong representation. Classic RPGs from Japan (JRPG) now have a second
life on mobile devices. Many Western gamers missed out on some of these gems
when released on their original platforms, which is a real shame. Now anyone
who owns an iOS or Android device can experience what so many JRPG fans have
loved for years.

So, may your battles be turn-based and your hair ever-spiky. Unsheath those giant swords, summon your fantastical creatures and let’s check out eight of the best classic JRPGs anyone can play on their mobile devices.

Chrono Trigger (SNES, 1995)

Is Chrono Trigger the best JRPG of all time?
It’s OK if you don’t think so, but you’ll be making plenty of online enemies if
you’re too dismissive of this classic SNES game. With characters designed by
Akira Toriyama of both Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest fame, the game has a unique
and timeless look.

You play as Crono, a plucky protagonist who
gets into girl trouble. The trouble being that the girl in question is a
princess involved in world-shaking temporal shenanigans. The adventure takes
you across multiple time periods, where you’ll pick up an interesting cast of
party members.

With multiple endings, lots of content and a
fantastic active time battle system, even modern gamers will find plenty to
love here. The mobile version has recently received a major overhaul and plays
like a dream, even on touch screens. This should come preinstalled on every
phone and tablet, it’s that good.

Get it on Android and iOS.

Lunar Silver Star Story Touch
(Sega Saturn, PS1,1996 & 1998)

Lunar Silver Star Story is a remake of the
1992 Sega CD game. The original is a worthy title by itself, but Silver Star
Story is the definitive version of the game. Silver Star Story Touch is an
almost perfect port of the Saturn and PS1 remaster. Although there was a third
significant remaster exclusive to the PSP, that version has been divisive among

In this game you take on the role of Alex, a
young man who hungers for adventure. Along with his tubby friend Ramus, the
enchanting songstress Luna and his flying cat/dragon thing, Alex gets involved
in some pretty epic adventures.

The world of Lunar is beautiful and still
rather unique in its visual design. It’s mostly set in a cold climate,
characters wear interesting costumes and the English localization is both funny
and sharply written. There are good arguments that the sequel, Lunar 2 Eternal
Blue, is the better game, but you need to play both to get the whole story.

Sadly, the second game isn’t out on mobile
devices and there’s no indication that it ever will be. So we should just be
happy that this wonderful game is just a few app-store taps away.

Get it on iOS.

Final Fantasy VII (and Others)
(PS1, 1997)

Let’s not kid ourselves, the alien lizard
people hiding on the moon have heard of the Final Fantasy series. Among this
multi-decade collection of games, number seven is arguably the most beloved. As
it stands, you can get all the FF games up to number nine as mobile apps, with
the sad exception of number eight.

FF7 is getting a modern remake that will be
released in episodic format, but that takes nothing away from the historical
importance and utter charm of the original. There are barely any platforms you
can’t get this game on, but it works perfectly on modern touch devices and looks
super-sharp, despite the low-poly character models.

Get it on Android and iOS.

Dragon Quest V (and Others)
(SNES, 1992)

Mention Final Fantasy and you have to mention
Dragon Quest, the other major
forefather of the JRPG genre. The series favorite is probably number eight,
which is also available on mobile. However, that port is lackluster and you’d
be better off playing the superior 3DS version.

The mobile port of Dragon Quest V however, is
excellent. With sharp pixel art graphics, a rotatable world and a fresh
multi-generational adventure, there’s nothing quite like it.

Get it on Android and iOS

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PS1,

A real hidden JRPG gem, Valkyrie Profile was
originally a PS1 game. With excellent voice acting, a haunting story and
timeless art style, it’s no wonder fans love this game so much.

You play as Lenneth Valkyrie, tasked with
choosing the souls of great warriors to fight alongside the gods at Ragnarok.
Still, is that all there is to this story? What truths lurk behind your mission
as a Valkyrie? It’s totally worth taking on this journey to find the answers.

Get it on Android and iOS

Secret of Mana (SNES, 1993)

Secret of Mana is a SNES original that is
actually the sequel to a game that was called Final Fantasy Adventure in North America. Confused yet? Well, all
you really need to know about Secret of Mana is that it’s absolutely beloved in
the JRPG world.

It’s not a turn-based game as most JRPGs of
the era were. Instead it’s an action RPG that will satisfy those hack and slash
urges. You can take direct control of anyone in your party, with the computer
handling the other characters when you’re busy directing yours.

Unfortunately you can’t take advantage of the
unique multiplayer feature Secret of Mana has on the mobile versions, but it’s
still an important and worthy title to experience on your own.

Get it on Android and iOS

Ys Chronicles I (TurboGrafx-CD,

The Ys games from Nihon Falcom are also not
your traditional turn-based RPG fare. Nor is it a hack-and-slash button masher.
Nope, the Ys games have their own totally-unique “bump” battle mechanic.
Basically you and the enemy dance around each other and smash into one another
like bumper cars. The first one to lose all HP loses the battle.

The result is a JRPG that is rather fast-paced
with excellent boss battles and great dungeons. Ys is still going strong, but
the Ys I+II games let’s you experience where it all began. These games are
actually ports of the TurboGrafx-CD remakes, but they’ve aged far better than
the originals and that rocking soundtrack is just the best.

Get it on Android and iOS

Categorized as Gaming

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